“I am the happiest person.”
This was the reaction of outgoing Bacolod City Acting Election Officer Ma. Fatima Aspan after she was replaced yesterday, September 21.
Sipalay City Election Officer Atty. Adrian Arellano will take on the position vacated by Aspan until the return of Election Officer Atty. Kathrina Trinio-Caña on September 27 following her 14-day isolation.
Aspan told SunStar Bacolod that she considered her replacement as a “blessing in disguise” because “it is tiring.”
The lawyer said she is the first person to report and the last person to leave the office every day since she became Bacolod’s acting election officer on September 14.
Aspan will return to her post as Negros Occidental Provincial Comelec Officer.
It can be recalled that on September 17, Mayor Evelio Leonardia asked Aspan to inhibit herself from continuing to function as the acting election officer of the city.
Leonardia, in his letter to Aspan, stressed that her inhibition will ensure the integrity of the ongoing voter registration process.
But Aspan stressed that only the Comelec En Banc can ask her to inhibit.
The mayor expressed alarm over the sudden and extremely unusual influx of registrants from out-of-town at the Comelec-Bacolod Office who would like to transfer their voter registration records in the city.
Leonardia said it is a well-know fact that Aspan has served as election officer of Victorias City, which belongs to the Third District of the Province of Negros Occidental, where his challenger Alfredo Benítez served as a representative for three terms.
This is on top of the fact that Aspan exercised a very confusing policy, which miserably affected crowd management and wrought havoc upon social distancing protocols against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), he said. (With reports from APN)